This image taken from video shows Mali's interim president Assimi Goita (C) as he sits with others during Eid al-Adha prayers at The Grande Mosque in Bamako on July 20, 2021, before he was attacked by armed men. Photograph:( AFP )
Assimi Goita, Mali's interim leader, was attacked by two assailants at the Grand Mosque, after he had finished offering prayers on the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha
Mali’s interim leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, has assured that he is well after he survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday.
Goita was offering prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital city, Bamako, on the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. After his prayers ended, he was attacked by two assailants, one of whom was wielding a knife.
He was quickly rushed away from the scene of the crime by his security team. While an AFP journalist reported seeing blood on the scene, it is still not clear who was injured.
However, the interim leader has claimed that he doing very well. "That's part of being a leader, there are always malcontents," Goita said. "There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability."
The President’s office also issued a statement saying that Goita is "safe and sound" after surviving the assassination attempt.
"Attempted stabbing attack against the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi GOITA at the great mosque of Bamako. The attacker was immediately subdued by close security," President's office tweeted. "Investigations are ongoing."
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Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone has also confirmed that a man "tried to kill the president with a knife" but was caught by the police officers. Mosque director, Latus Toure, has claimed that while the attack was directed towards the President, it was someone else who was injured.
A police officer has revealed, on condition of anonymity, that the officials have nabbed two people in connection to the arrest. However, the President and Prime Minister referred to only one attacker in their statements.